I 'Stalk' My Boyfriend And I Think It's The Key To A Happy Relationship
By Hayley Thompson
George and I have been together around two years and we're like any typical urban-dwelling couple who met outside of the Love Island villa: We share a flat, disagree over how to load a dishwasher and binge Netflix on weeknights.
We love each other and, in fact, my Pinterest account and I are pretty sure I'm going to marry this guy.
But, we also 'stalk' each other on a GPS tracking app.
If I'm honest neither of us can completely remember why it started, but I have feeling it was a night out around six months into dating (or 'courting' if you're ancient and... George).
We had set off separately with friends around Soho vowing to join forces later that evening. According to George "a pulsating blue dot is a lot easier to comprehend" than my drunken "WhatsApp riddles" - thanks George...
But that evening, instead of sharing our locations for the socially-acceptable hour or two, George, being eight years older than me and thus technologically challenged, selected the height of digital commitment; 'share indefinitely'. And so, our relationship went to the next level.
Okay, before you climb onto the digital soapbox and ask "how the weather is in Gilead this time of year?", hear me out.
Whilst I accept that I am quite literally 'under his eye', it's not as though we pour over the app obsessing about each other's every move.
However the relief that comes from knowing he's made it into the office after cycling through central London is worth the 'stalking' stigma alone.
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He likes it because I've hit that sweet spot in my late-20s where every other weekend is full to the Sambuca'd rim with another hen party.
So, knowing I've made it safely to bed after what can only be described as competitive levels of cocktail consumption is, apparently, "extremely comforting".
Also, George says I'm a "late person", but I don't think that's important right now...
Possibly my proudest moment in the 'stalking' back catalogue happened in my mum's kitchen: the two of us manically refreshing the app to watch George's blue dot chugging around the M25 towards us, as we flawlessly timed a roast to land on the table just as he walked through the door. Boom!
However, even the heroic tale of the 'perfect roast' isn't enough to convince some friends of our consensual 'stalky' romance.
Concerns range from over-sharing to over-protection and almost everyone on team 'strict privacy settings' has asked if we have some kind of trust issue. The most common question being: "what would you do if you found out he was somewhere he wasn't meant to be?" Well, I haven't... And the thing is if that happened, I guess the app would no longer be the most controversial part of our relationship.
Knowing where your partner is at all times definitely isn't for everyone. But honestly we love it.
Sure, you can argue some of the mystery is gone from our relationship, but really, I think the people who say that aren't being inventive enough with their tech. Yes, it's great for avoiding pointless frustration over one of us going MIA and our WhatsApp is never bogged down with tedious ETA requests.
My favourite things to use it for are trying to sneak up on him for a snog on our lunch breaks, or ordering surprise pizza to his office. (I mean, what's better than pizza?) I've also never arrived to meet him in at a bar and not had a cold drink waiting for me. Plus he claims it's the only way I ever step into a tidy flat after he's WFH all day. So the mystery might be lost (this is, after all, a man who flosses his teeth while I'm sat on the loo most evenings), but the romance, like the app, feels like it's set to 'indefinitely'.
Featured Image Credit: Hayley Thompson